Ramblings

A Mac N Cheesy Tradition

Traditions are so important. They ground us, they bring comfort during turbulent times, they give us a sense of who we are and that we belong. I would like to share something special that happened during our son Josh and his beautiful wife Naomi’s visit this past week. I wanted to do something special with Naomi that honored our family’s traditions and also pass one down to her. I reached out to my sister Janet to make sure I got the recipe right (Yes, Sis – I used Panko!) and bought the ingredients for making the macaroni and cheese that my mom used to make. She didn’t make it very often and so we were all very excited when she did. I remember the unique bread crumb crust on the top that everybody loved.

So this week Naomi and I made Mom’s macaroni and cheese together. It was a very special time as we chatted and together decided how much of what to put in it, since we didn’t use any measuring cups. Naomi’s grandmother had also shared a macaroni and cheese recipe for her to treasure. Naomi now has a recipe from my Mom that she may not follow exactly, but is something for her to build off of (along with her grandma’s recipe) that will carry a part of both of our families into the new family that she and Josh are creating together – and that is really cool!

I thank God for the gift of my daughter-in-love Naomi and I’m so blessed by the times that we get to spend together.

If you don’t have a family tradition to pass down, that’s okay because you can start creating your own right now. And it doesn’t even have to be family that you pass it to. The important thing about tradition is the love behind it and that each of us can create our own as an expression of that love and give it to anyone. It’s also good to remember that blessings are meant to flow in both directions. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to the German Pancakes Naomi makes for us whenever we get together for an extended visit – Yum!!

 
For those of you who are interested, I am including the macaroni and cheese recipe. If you choose to use it – feel free to tweak it and make it your own. And I know my Mom will be smiling from Heaven because a tradition that she began in our family is being continued by others.

Leah Venetucci’s Mac N Cheese

16 oz. large elbow macaroni

Approximately 1 cup of milk

Kraft Deluxe American Cheese (12 Slices)

Butter

Olive Oil

Breadcrumbs (You can use plain or Panko)

9 X 12 Glass Baking Pan

Lots of love

Cook the elbow macaroni as you normally would – boiling – straining – and adding a dollop of olive oil to prevent the macaroni from sticking together. Now would be a good time to start preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Place pats of butter on the bottom of the baking pan. You can also mix some butter in with the macaroni, although we settled for just the olive oil we had already added earlier. Layer half of macaroni into pan. Pour approximately half a cup of milk over macaroni. Layer cheese slices on top of macaroni. (For a richer recipe you can add additional pats of butter on the cheese – being a bit health conscious, we chose not to do that this time and really didn’t miss it).

Repeat with another layer of macaroni and add some more milk (this is now individual preference as to how you like the final texture to turn out – more milky or less milky…) and layer cheeses slices on top of macaroni.

Now the fun part – shake the container of breadcrumbs so that they cover the top layer of cheese. You can experiment with how thick a layer you like, but it doesn’t take much to achieve the desired affect of a crispy, tasty top.

Bake for about 30 minutes (on top rack is fine) until golden brown. Timing is not critical but if you see the macaroni is getting crisp and you don’t want to overcook it – you can also broil it for a few minutes (less than 5) to achieve the color of the crust you see in the pictures. If you choose to do this, the top will cook very quickly, so you will want to monitor it closely.

It is now ready to enjoy and of course refrigerate leftovers promptly. We also have a family tradition of praying over our meals and we often end our prayer in a beautiful way – “Please bless this food and the hands that prepared it.” I think we’ll start including, “and thank you for the tradition of love behind it.” Seems like a good idea, don’t you think?

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree – Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today my Mom is celebrating her 98th birthday in Heaven, as we remember her special day with a mixture of joy and sadness here on Earth. I was looking in the mirror this morning, and I saw my Mom’s features in my own face – the way her face would crinkle with lines etched by life’s trials complemented by the wrinkles engraved from a lifetime of smiles. How her eyes would squint a bit when she smiled – one more than the other and with a twinkle in her eyes. I felt joy shoving my grief back into its corner. I am my Mom’s legacy!

Funny thing about the aging process. I am finding this season of life has challenges my younger version could not begin to fathom, but also blessings that I am very grateful for. I remember Mom’s jovial disclosure of her age on every birthday – “I’m 29!” I have chosen to keep my hard-earned wisdom highlights visible, whereas she had chosen to keep her red hair for several decades before letting go of her fiery crown. Either way, she was, and is, beautiful.

Mom had a hearty laugh and a great sense of humor. She lit up any room she was in and she took much joy in music. I love this video of Mom singing while Phil and I dance in our kitchen after coming home from a Christmas eve service.

When I look back on the impact she had on my life and her steadfast love, I feel so grateful that God gave her to me to be my Mom. Cheerleader, teacher, confidante, nurturer, she was always there with a smile, a hug, and a word of wisdom. She was also there through every bump I experienced, even when they were the results of my own poor decisions.

Mom had a strong influence in my life. She would often say: “You have to have trust and faith,” “Don’t worry twice,” “Take some honey,” “Think happy thoughts,” and always in times of trouble – “It’s not a forever thing,” and “Lord, grant me the serenity…” So when asked to speak at a ladies ministry event at Living Word Global Church last year – Mom came to mind and I knew it was a great opportunity to share with others the wisdom my Mom had garnered throughout her life. She leaves a beautiful legacy in all of the lives she has touched, which I was able to share in the video below:

Our time on Earth is short, and while we think we will have the opportunity to be with our loved ones, the truth is, the day the Lord calls them home will always be sooner then what we would want, even if we know that day is coming. Romans 14:8, “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” gives me much comfort – but I do miss her daily.

Don’t neglect time with your loved ones – because tomorrow is not promised to any of us. The cherished memories of our many times together provide comfort until we are reunited again in Heaven. I also hope you can find time to listen to Mom’s wisdom – her words have carried me through some difficult times and I think they will bless you, too. And when you are going through those hard times, tell yourself an important truth that I know my Mom would tell you: “It’s not a forever thing.” You will get out the other side to a place of blessing. It might take awhile – but stay strong and hold onto your faith. You will get there. And when you do that, I am quite certain my Mom will be smiling down from Heaven.

Happy Birthday, Mom! Love and miss you so much!!

Something Special Happened at the Library Today

Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, but my Mom gave me a wonderful gift that surpasses any of the toys we couldn’t afford – she gave me the gift of a love for reading. Every night she would sit on my bed with me and my brother, and read to us from Babar the Elephant. She took us on adventures and nurtured in us a love for books.

When I was in elementary school I couldn’t wait to get my report card because if I got all As and Bs, I could count on Mom taking me to Kmart to pick out a Nancy Drew mystery. Evenings were spent in the living room with my family. We each had our “spot” and mine was the green chair next to the lamp. I would sit cuddled up and reading while my Mom, Dad, and brother watched T.V.

When bedtime arrived – I would say my good nights, and I couldn’t wait to get to bed. Hiding under my blanket with my flashlight, I was transported to other worlds. My stack of library books were a free ticket to wondrous adventures. I would keep half an ear listening for Mom’s footsteps, so I could shut off my flashlight before she saw me. Looking back, I am quite sure she knew I was reading and smiled as she checked on me while I did my best imitation of being asleep.

I remember when my Mom took me to the library and got me a library card – I thought I was in heaven. She would drop me off at the library in our community and I would lose myself there for hours. When I came outside of its doors at our agreed upon time for Mom to bring me back home, I would be carrying a huge stack of books that I could barely see over, threatening to topple out of my arms as I made my way to the waiting car. Which is why TODAY IS SO SPECIAL!!!

There is something absolutely magical about seeing a book you have written made available in your local library 🥰

If you would like a copy in your local library – be sure and request it from your local librarian. Alien Neighbors is in the IngramSpark catalogue and they can order it from there for your library. Happy Reading!!

A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven

Today is Palm Sunday – the beginning of Holy Week recognized by those, like me, who are followers of Jesus Christ. As excited as we all get about Christmas (the birth of our Savior!!) it runs second to the most exciting holiday of all in the Christian calendar. In the secular world it is known as Easter Sunday but to understand the meaning of Easter in all its glory – Christians refer to it as Resurrection Day – the day that Jesus conquered death after bearing incredible torture on our behalf – and all of this driven by His love for us. The Bible tells us in Romans 10:9-10, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Easter commemorates God raising Jesus from the dead. Palm Sunday is the day Jesus arrived in Jerusalem – knowing what was ahead, yet still choosing to do so.

We have all been living in tremendous tension for the past two years, as the world remains in a constant state of chaos and uncertainty and there seems to be no end in sight. This plaque hangs in our kitchen, bringing comfort even when the unfathomable happens. It reminds me of God’s purpose through His Son Jesus Christ for humanity: John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” We have a hope that is enduring, a Lord who loves us, and a purpose ordained by Him for our time on earth. Holy Week is a special reminder that God’s love for us is relentless, incomprehensible, sacrificial, and unconditional. Perfect and without sin, yet willing to die for us – that is the amazing love that God has for us.

You may hear a Christian exclaim, “He is Risen!!” on Easter Sunday – we just can’t contain our excitement. It really is an emotional time of gratitude for us and we are overflowing with joy as we contemplate the sacrifice of our Lord and how He overcame death so that we can spend eternity with Him. The usual response is just as enthusiastic: “He is Risen, Indeed!!”

What we find so amazing is that God is faithful even when we aren’t. The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He doesn’t wait for us to clean up our acts – He loves us exactly where we are at, with a fierce love that knows no bounds. The baby born in the manger on Christmas Day is God’s greatest expression of love – His provision to deliver us from our sins so that we can spend eternity with him. He tells us in John 16:33, “‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.'”

I take tremendous comfort in this. My last blog post was titled “What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do.” It was helpful to be sure. But yesterday after a stressful week of having surgery, a minor reaction during recovery, and starting a new position at work, I found myself in need of more. I needed to be still. I needed Jesus. So I found myself crying out yet again, and again, Jesus met me at my point of need.

As we begin our journey towards Easter Sunday, and we focus on the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, it is good to remember to not only keep Jesus in Easter, but to also invite Him into our lives throughout the year. Jesus came down from heaven to save us from our sins. When we call out to Him, not only do we receive eternal salvation, we receive His peace on earth. Putting Christ in the center of our lives changes everything. Gaining the eternal perspective of heaven helps us walk in this world with all of its pain and suffering, and enables us to do so with joy. The joy we have in Christ overflows into our relationships and our daily lives, touching others even as it touches us.

God’s love for us is beautiful, extravagant, and unforgettable. Each one of us has a purpose under heaven and we are each given a season to live out that purpose. Our ultimate purpose is to love God and to love others. That looks different for each one of us because we are all unique, but the end result is the same: In whatever we do, let us honor God and seek to please Him, and love one another in both our words and actions. Life here on earth is both precious and short – Let’s remember to do that each and every day ❤️

If you would like to learn more about Jesus – I will be glad to send you a copy of an Advent Devotional I wrote (available on Amazon) for free. While it is directed towards the Christmas season it can be read any time of year and will give you a better understanding of who Jesus is and why Christians get so excited about Easter 🙂 Just message me your email address and I will gift you a free Kindle version. I promise not to contact you or use your email address for any other purpose. May you enjoy a blessed Easter season!

What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do…

Saturday was weird. I worked all week and usually I look forward to Saturdays as a day to have an opportunity to sleep a little longer, be a little bit more leisurely, and reach out to family or friends I haven’t chatted with lately. While the week is filled not only with my day job, but evenings working on promoting Alien Neighbors, I also have lots of other irons in the fire – writing projects I am excited about, learning how to play my ukulele, and riding my bicycle on the greenbelt where we live. Saturdays are usually a welcome respite to do these things. But this Saturday, well…it seemed like the walls were pressing in.

I remember waking up and starting to pray for all of the people I know that are grieving a recent loss, asking God to comfort them. Many of the people on the list were struck down by covid-19, all of them gone too soon. I think what finally got to me was the length of the list. I stopped before I got through them all and cried out, “Why, so many, Lord? It’s too much to bear.” My thoughts turned to Ukraine and the unjust war being waged on that beautiful country. The image of a pianist playing one last song on her piano in her home before leaving it behind to become a refugee haunts me. The world has been chaotic for so long.

The day seemed unbearable. Peace was elusive.

I never did get my peace that day. But when I woke up Sunday, I made a conscious decision. I needed to do something different. It’s okay to have the occasional bad day (and not feel guilty about it) but not to stay there. My choices were fairly limited given we are still somewhat restricted (another frustration being the pandemic is not yet over, no matter how much we would all like it to be). I didn’t sleep in but rather, got up to close to my normal work day rise time. We turned on our favorite local church online service (we have not made the leap to in-person services yet) and received the blessing of being with our church family, worshipping God, and receiving an inspiring Word delivered by our pastor. But now what?

Even after church it felt fairly easy and a little bit tempting to allow myself to slip into the same funk that I was in on Saturday, but I refused. So what could I do to choose joy instead of despair? This was very uncomfortable for me. Usually I don’t feel the pangs of depression. Sadness, yes – I am grieving for my sister and for dear friends who have gone to heaven this past year. I miss them!! But I can usually turn my thoughts to the happy memories I have of them and not stay sad too long – there is so much to be done and I know they wouldn’t want me to over-extend my grief to a point that it interferes with daily life. I didn’t know what to do…

So I did something different. Usually I am stuck inside at my computer. Usually we eat inside. Usually I have an agenda that I follow so that I can get done what I need to. I have a post-it-note list of “to-do’s” for the day. But instead – I moved my day outside into our backyard. I cleaned off our patio table and set my computer up on it. I stayed outside ALL day. We ate outside. I read my book outside. I worked on my latest novel outside. And in between, I played ping pong with my husband, played soccer with my dog, and threw a frisbee. I grabbed my ukulele and practiced the chords I have been trying to learn. I laughed. I read the scriptures in our prayer garden. I watched the birds. I sang spontaneously. I reflected on how blessed we are. I didn’t finish my post-it-note list, but I found peace.

Sometimes peace is elusive. The trials of this world can be very hard to bear. If you find yourself pressed down, perhaps it’s time to do something different. Even a little different, like hanging out in your backyard (or a park if you don’t have a backyard). Or grab a ukulele and play a few chords…

My wish for you is to allow yourself to be human and grieve when your heart hurts – but don’t stay there too long. There is still much beauty around us, even in despair. God is still working on our behalf – even when it is hard to see, and He grieves with us. One last image comes to mind as I write this. A picture of light even in the darkness – playful guards and children’s laughter as they spread joy even in desperate circumstances. There is always light and it will overcome. Make sure to turn the volume on and enjoy the video below:

https://fb.watch/bWfrRJ2l4_/

A Novel’s Journey: A Look at My Process from Inspiration to Launch

Ever wonder what a novel’s journey looks like? How does the author get inspiration and what is their process? Check out ALIEN NEIGHBORS’ journey to find out:

Articles mentioning Project Daedalus and Nuclear Fusion served to stir my imagination
More inspiration from Project Daedalus and antimatter fusion engines for spaceships
Magazine Articles on Extraterrestrials and Helium-3 as a clean energy source fueled my efforts

The Wow! Signal and strange audio transmissions heard by NASA astronauts further inspired the thought, “What if aliens do exist?”

I had a lot of fun envisioning Lanjo, the alien that befriends my main character, Tom Whitaker. A graphic artist did this rendition after I described to him what Lanjo looks like. The expression on his face (a grimace) is the alien equivalent of a smile. If you look closely, you’ll see the extra digit on each hand and the friendship bracelet he receives from Tom’s daughter as part of the story. 

Flowchart of events in novel (Spoilers are hidden)

Initial effort at revising completed first draft scene by scene – resulting in a much different second draft
Second and third drafts – two more drafts after those for a total of five drafts to a polished manuscript
Bookcover Mockup – Cover Reveal!
ALIEN NEIGHBORS Book Trailer
And finally – Proofs (Hardback on left and Paperback on right)

Book Launch BuzzGenerating Excitement for ALIEN NEIGHBORS entrance into the world.

Now that ALIEN NEIGHBORS has been launched into the world, one would think the journey is over. But that is not the case. Writing a book is HARD, but marketing it is even harder. It’s tough being an author but as arduous as it is to write a book – finding your audience so that you can realize your dream of writing a story that leaves a positive impact on the world is even harder. Please take a look and see if ALIEN NEIGHBORS might be for you or share it with someone who may be interested. Every time I hear someone tell me that it is a fun read that has given them a brief respite from their troubles and they found the story inspiring – it makes the years of hard work worthwhile!

ALIEN NEIGHBORS is available at these fine book sellers:

Amazon (Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover)
Barnes and Noble (Nook and Paperback)
KOBO eBook, Apple eBook, Google Play eBook

Global Distribution: IngramSparks: ISBN 978-1956891010

A Portion of Sales Goes to Charity: In most African countries, children must pay to go to school. Nancy’s friend Donatien Gilga Ndacyayisaba is a priest in Rwanda who has five orphans under his care. Donatien’s parish is very poor and it is extremely difficult for them to raise the school fees for the children. Fifty cents of the sale of each book will be donated to help these precious children continue their education.

Love was Born on Christmas Day!

As we journey through the Advent season, let us reflect on why Jesus came down from heaven to live and move among us. Matthew 1:21 says, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Yeshua, because he will save his people from their sins.” Yeshua is Hebrew for “the Lord shall save,” and can be interpreted to refer to the atoning work of Jesus at the cross. He came here to save us! Iesous is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshua, and its English spelling is “Jesus,” the name we find in our English Bibles. As his name reflects, the birth of Jesus is part of God’s plan to save us from our sins, so that we may have eternal life with Him.

God gave Jesus his name and, by doing so, announced to the world that He had provided a Savior for us, a way out of the predicament that we all find ourselves in. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God gave us the greatest gift of all on Christmas morning, in the humblest of surroundings: a manger. He sent His Son Jesus into the world to save us from the consequences of our sin, and Jesus willingly went. What kind of love drives that? What kind of love leaves the glories of heaven to be born in a stable and to walk upon a broken world and call it his home? Only an incomprehensible, unconditional, passionate love could do that. That was the love that was born on Christmas day!

Reflection: Think of all of the gifts you have received in the past. Many of them came to you in beautifully wrapped packages, or with some type of fanfare. Now imagine being handed a brown cardboard box. Don’t let its plain appearance fool you. You can’t tell a gift by its wrapping. Open it slowly and peer inside. See in your mind’s eye a baby, born in a lowly manger, God’s gift of eternal life to you, in Christ Jesus, accessible to everyone. The packaging isn’t auspicious, but the contents are precious beyond measure!

It’s Amazing and Marvelous!

Having worked on my science fiction novel for about five years (more if you count when I first conceived it, but put it aside after three chapters to focus on motherhood) and to come to this moment of time when it will be officially launched for the world to enjoy, can only be described as amazing and marvelous – amazing I managed to get to this point and marvelous because I got to this point. All of the hard work has come to fruition and I am about to launch Alien Neighbors into the world!

Publishing a book is a long and arduous process. After you finish the writing, the next phase begins – preparing to market your book. Reviews are so important to selling books and NetGalley is a platform that many traditional and indie publishers use to garner reviews. The idea is that ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) are made available to registered members for free in exchange for honest reviews. As you can well imagine, this can be a scary process viewed with some trepidation by the author. I am so excited to share we got our first review. Somehow, getting this review from a complete stranger, has brought me a wonderful sense of affirmation and joy.

Tomorrow is the Official Launch Day – the culmination of my dream to publish a science fiction novel that began as just an idea after reading an article in 2000. I am going to share parts of that journey in future blog posts, but in the mean time, my Book Launch Buzz video will give you a general idea of the story behind Alien Neighbors and what it means to me.

If you are interested in purchasing Alien Neighbors, it can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, and Google Play, along with other fine retailers.

And don’t forget to leave a review 😉

Carrollton League of Writers Three Year Anniversary Celebration

I have made it a tradition to write about each year as part of our anniversary celebration. In preparation, I went to last year’s anniversary blog post:

We are living in extraordinary times. The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun. But while that is certainly true, living through a pandemic is new for most of us. It has been a challenging time as we receive changing information daily and must navigate our relationships, how we conduct business, make tough decisions regarding our children’s education, and what we should or shouldn’t do based on something we can’t even see. I know for myself, I sometimes wake up and everything feels so surreal – I never imagined living through this type of situation.

Those words really startled me and caused me to reflect on where we were then, and where we are now. It doesn’t seem like there’s much difference and it can be really easy to allow ourselves to get caught up in that fact.

I wish I could do like I did for our One Year celebration and just share about all of the wonderful different things that we were able to participate in and the very cool things that we did for our community. But the fact is, the world just didn’t allow us to do that for the second year in a row and that’s hard. So what can we do? How can we proceed? Well, Carrollton League of Writers already answered that question and in a very powerful way. We have chosen to be a family and to love, support, and respect each member of our family.

It hasn’t always been easy. Since I took on a full-time job and had shoulder surgery, the leadership I have been able to provide in the past has declined. But the Carrollton League of Writers board met the challenge and kept things going. I think we can be very proud and grateful that in a time where many writers groups have been unable to keep meeting, the foundation that was laid by a group of people who have decided to be invested in one another three years ago has stood firm – and that is truly a wonderful thing to have come out of this pandemic.

I have had occasion to talk to various members of our group and what is really amazing is that we all come from different places, backgrounds, and beliefs, yet we are dedicated to respecting each other and even more, loving and encouraging one another in the most difficult of circumstances. So, what should we celebrate when we celebrate our 3rd anniversary? Sure, we managed to do some good things. We worked really hard at putting on a virtual writers retreat to take the place of our usual annual retreat at Lake Texoma. Obviously, it didn’t have the same vibe, but it accomplished something. It said that we will not go gentle into that good night. The board met several times and created an ever-evolving plan of how we should conduct our meetings to meet the needs of our group.

3 Year Anniversary Meeting

Carrollton League of Writers may have to respond to external circumstances that affect how we move forward, but none of that will ever change the fact that we are the family that we have chosen to be. And regardless of what is going on in the world – that will always be something to celebrate!

Friends are the Family You Choose!

Caregivers Need Care, Too

I don’t think people always realize that when someone is ill, often there is someone behind the scenes taking care of them. I don’t think we should discount what the person is going through with their illness, but I think it’s also important to recognize that the people caring for that person are also going through a very stressful journey. It’s not easy to be a caregiver for a number of reasons. One of the biggest ones is that the caregiver is emotionally invested in the person they are caring for, so it is also hard for them to watch as their loved one is going through such a difficult time. Walking alongside them and caring for them is an act of love, but it is extremely emotionally and physically draining. I felt led to write this article to help people remember that while we should certainly and rightly focus on the person that is experiencing the illness, we also need to remember the people who are caring for them so that we can support them as well. Both need physical help, emotional support, and our prayers.

A great example for me personally is the fact that I recently had rotator cuff surgery. My husband has been my hero, as he spends each and every day meeting my needs. Because the surgery was for my dominant right arm which had to be immobilized for 4 weeks, he really had his work cut out for him. The physical therapy is an additional three to four months, so his schedule is completely disrupted as he continues to care for me and also facilitates the physical therapy exercises I’ve been assigned. All of this while working and taking care of all of the household chores. One of the best things that happened is that the day after my surgery, my very dear friend Sabitha came by our house and dropped off a package at our door, without even knocking.

She recognized that I was probably exhausted from my surgery and in no shape to greet anybody, but she wanted to help by providing my husband with food. He could continue to focus on me while enjoying the delicious soups that carried him through the next three days. I can’t begin to say how grateful I am for that very kind gesture. Another important point is that she didn’t wait for me to reach out to her. She acted. I’m not taking away from people who offer to help by saying, “Let me know if you need anything.” But the truth is, many people may need something (or at least would be blessed with a little help) but can’t bring themselves to reach out, fearing they will inconvenience others. By taking action upon herself, Sabitha met a real need we had and blessed us immeasurable by her gifts, both tangible and intangible.

Sabitha also had some goodies for me which I deeply appreciated, but the greatest impact for us was seeing that my husband was cared for so that he could care for me. What a blessing that was! On top of all that, she returned with more goodies the following week to cheer me on in my recovery. If you know of anybody who is going through a health challenge, please don’t forget them. They need continual encouragement and prayers. They also need love and support expressed in tangible ways. But don’t forget that their caregivers need all of that, too.